Sometimes through small personal adventures I get in touch with niche places. This was the case with Pai, a little Thai food place located at the end of the road in Tofino.
A young man by the name of Oak owns it. Two nights previous to my experience here, I met Oak and five of his family members while enjoying a ten-piece Latin band at The Legion in Tofino.
These guys were very entertaining! It was great to see this family of men connect and have so much fun together! During my interaction with them, I found out about Oak’s little Thai food restaurant so I had to check it out.
About Oak and Pai
Oak seems like a freedom-loving kind of guy. He’s a traveler and spent three years living in Thailand before coming to Tofino. One of the things he really missed about his experience there was the food. Since nobody in Tofino was doing Thai food he seized the opportunity to open a restaurant.
Pai is open all year round. Oak runs it during the summer months along with a fellow cook, but come fall he heads out to sea for six months. Oak is a commercial fisherman by trade. By now he’s on the boat somewhere in the Queen Charlotte Islands. He was looking forward to it when I chatted with him. There would be lots of hard work and drinking!
Oak leaves the restaurant in good hands while he is away at sea so don’t worry, you can still enjoy some good hot Thai food in Tofino during storm season!
I ordered the Kapow, a popular dish in Thailand. The combination of chicken sautéed in a boison-soy sauce mixture with white sticky rice, and a perfectly fried egg on top was delicious! You can order this with your protein of choice.
Oak prepares the dish with small-sized chunks of meat, not as fine as ground meat, but not as large as nuggets. He says this provides more surface area for the yummy boison-soy sauce flavoured with fresh Thai basil.
Oak asked how spicy I’d like it which is a safe medium. He throws Thai chili peppers into the mix and seems to have a very good read on what medium is. My Kapow was perfect!
There is a way to eat this dish so that you can fully enjoy the texture and flavour together. Take a bit of rice and egg with each forkful of saucy meat. I seriously enjoyed this flavourful dish.
Pai’s location is literally at the end of the main road in Tofino at 220 Campbell Street. Venture past the stop sign at the Co-op grocery store. When you reach the end of the road you’ll see a small parking lot on the right.
Look for the covered area below.
You can also enjoy your meal at a cheery sitting area. Tofino Licks is right there for dessert too!
Pai is open daily for lunch between 12:00 pm and 3:00 pm and for dinner between 6:00 pm and 9:00 pm.
Visit them on Facebook for the latest food updates. Right now they are serving Pho! Perfect for fall and winter!
Contact them at (250) 726-6996.